When I get together with former co-workers, we rarely talk about old colleagues we loved, instead favoring stories about the ones who made us want to commit hara-kari in our cubicles.
You know, that guy who verbally abused his wife on the phone every day for all to hear. The manager who treated her team like a personal cage match, or the one who took pictures of herself working in the office at 2am and posted them on the company fridge. The creepy dude who charged an “erotic massage” on his corporate credit card. The overstressed team lead who was either crying, yelling or catatonic.
Yeah, those people.
Bob Sutton’s new book, The No Asshole Rule, zeros in on the worst offenders — “those who deliberately make co-workers feel bad about themselves and who focus their aggression on the less powerful.”
Yes, it’s common sense — assholes make for toxic workplaces, lowering employee satisfaction, retention and productivity. But how many assholes do you work with that management ignores, or worse, rewards? What can you do to deal with these jerks outside of quitting, swallowing your anger (or one too many drinks)? Maybe Rick, who’s reading Bob’s book can tell us…
If all else fails, you could always nominate your favorite asshole for a new reality show.